Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Of course, crashing the computer couldn't be the end of it. I was trying to fast bake a couple of potatoes last night and broke the microwave. Then today, hubby went out to mow the yard. He'd only made a couple of passes around the perimeter when one of the back tires on the lawn mower came right off the rim. We tried to fix it back on, but that was a no-go, too. He's taking it to work with him tomorrow so he can stop at a garage and have it put back on the rim.
Hope your weekend was better than mine. I can't wait for tomorrow morning.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Okay. Enough of that.
Since RWA's national conference starts in a couple of days, I figure the blogosphere will be even deader than it is already until the weekend or later--unless some kind souls decide to blog about the goings on from their hotel rooms. I'm not going to Orlando but I am going offline for the rest of the week to finish up a manuscript that should have been finished a couple of weeks ago. I'm so close to the end, all I need is a big push to put it to bed. So, that's the plan.
To those of you going to conference, have fun and stay safe.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Fourth point--and this is a biggie--once you publish your first book, readers expect more. Gasp! For most of us, this is a no-brainer. But for some--like me--we spend so much time writing, revising, polishing, and shopping that manuscript around NY that it never even occurs to us that at some point we need to move on and do it all over again with something new. I can tell you from experience that the question most frequently asked of a new author is, "When's your next book coming out?" It's a real wake up call, especially if you have nothing but a bunch of half-baked partials waiting in the wings. My advice to anyone who seriously aims for a career at this writing stuff is, don't publish unless you are prepared to publish again, and again. Otherwise you end up with a long, long stretch of nothing where you're trying to figure out what the heck your next move should be. Lesson learned (from my perspective, anyway)--don't submit unless you're prepared to cover your butt with solid follow-up material.
One final thing I want to mention. All of the above can happen at dizzying speed if you publish with an electronic press. In my case, I went from contract offer to book release in the space of two months. If that sounds like plenty time to make the adjustment and deal with all the details inherent with going from unpublished to published, trust me, it isn't. My biggest mistake was accepting an offer to edit when I'd barely finished signing the contract for my own book. The whole publishing experience kind of passed me by because I was up to my ears in queries and other people's manuscripts.
On the bright side, I've learned some really good lessons which--hopefully--left me better prepared for the future. It took a while, but I'm now looking forward and dreaming those big dreams again of tossing my hat into the publishing ring. And ain't it about time!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
I could write an entire post on the reasons why I stuck strictly to the westerns for as long as I did, and maybe I will, sometime or other. As I said, I've not given up on westerns completely. I love them too much for that. And there are at least two manuscripts that are begging me to finish them, so I intend to. Eventually. Who knows, maybe someday traditional westerns will become popular again, but I'm not holding my breath any longer. For now, I intend to write what speaks to me at the moment, regardless of genre.
The changes I've made to the blog I also plan to do on my web site. But I keep putting that off because changing out the template on an entire web site is no small undertaking and I'm dreading it. Just so you know, even though I got rid of the banner and the cowboys, I simply could not let go of the little red horse. So I moved him to the very bottom of the blog. He's inconspicuous there, but I can still scroll down and see him whenever I want. He's there now, running his little heart out.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
So, what's left? Writing? Well, I'm still at it but there's nothing earth shattering to report as of this posting. Oh, I did have an epiphany the other day. (Yeah, another one.) I realized I've been looking at the business side of writing all wrong. So, I'm planning a new approach to the submission process. I'll let you know how that works out.
Anyone else got cabin fever? If so, what are you doing to keep from climbing the walls? The snow's coming again tomorrow night and it's expected to last until Tuesday. It's times like this when I really miss my son being here. He did move out back in the fall, by the way. When he was still at home, I could hop in my car and make a run to town whenever the notion hit me. Now, not so much. I've been making quick grocery runs about every two weeks.
Well, there I go. I said I wasn't going to unload my personal stuff, but I managed to slip something in anyway. Guess I'd better go before this turns into Dear Diary.
Enjoy Andrei Claude in cowboy getup. I posted Mr. Hottie because he's much nicer to look at than the cold stuff outside, and I think it's safe to say we're all sick of snow pictures.
Stay warm, everyone!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM FRIDAY TO 7 PM EST SATURDAY...
A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM FRIDAY TO 7 PM EST SATURDAY.
* SNOW IS EXPECTED TO START FALLING FRIDAY AFTERNOON SOUTH OF THE HAL ROGERS PARKWAY AND GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTH AND EAST THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SNOW IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL SATURDAY EVENING.
* SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON WILL LIKELY REACH 6 TO 10 INCHES OVER THE WARNING AREA... WITH UP TO A FOOT OVER THE HIGHER RIDGES ALONG THE VIRGINIA BORDER.
In any event, I think we're prepared. I went to the grocery yesterday and stocked up, just in case, because we live several miles outside of town in a rural area and our road is well off the beaten track. If we should lose power, we have plenty of firewood and kerosene.
I hope everyone stays safe and warm.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Over the years I've backed up my word files on floppies, rewritable CDs, and flash drives, but I've still managed to lose a lot of material as a result of computer crashes. Any backup method is only as good as the person using it. You have to resave each document after each and every little edit or you're not covered.
Let's run it down. Floppies are out of the question. They never were reliable, and these days computers usually don't even have a floppy drive. Writable CDs are good, I guess, but I always had a problem with those as well. On every computer I've owned--and I'm now up to half a dozen--the CD drive has eventually stopped working. I'm now using flash drives, but I understand they are also vulnerable because they can become corrupted.
Back in the very early days of owning a computer, I printed everything. It didn't take long before I was buried under a mountain of partials in hard copy. I printed each time I made a change or added to each document and, after a while, I couldn't make heads or tails of any of it because the sheer volume of version 1, 2 , 3 etc. became overwhelming. And let's not forget the cost of paper and ink for all that printing.
So, what's the answer?
Many writers set up a Google or Yahoo email account and email their manuscripts to themselves. But I foresee the same old problem with this. You would have to be super diligent and email the ms. each and every time you make a change to the text.
I know how heartbreaking it is to lose an entire manuscript or even multiple partials, not to mention pictures and other sundry items, in a computer crash. Just the other day, a dear friend and fellow writer asked me if I perchance had any of her old manuscripts on my computer from when we used to critique together. Sadly, I had to say I didn't. Those critiques were two computers and several years ago. I feel so bad for her. She's lost everything she didn't have in hard copy.
If anyone has a tried and true backup method that I haven't mentioned, I'd love to hear about it.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
All this time, I thought I kept my writing space neat and organized. Ha! I had no idea I had accumulated that much paper. Old manuscripts. Not just one, but several copies of each. Mail, mail, MAIL. Pictures. I ran across some strange stuff when I went digging into everything. Both entire sets of my children's baby teeth, the package of new checks I thought I hadn't ordered yet, even my old student ID from junior high. Geez, I hate to admit it, but the picture on that was in black and white.
This all started on Saturday when my husband needed the title for his car because he was trading it in, and I couldn't find it. I found the title to my son's car, but not hubby's and not mine. I was ready to pull my hair out. I still haven't found them, but wherever they are, they're together. I know I'll end up finding them in a stupid--right in front of your nose--kind of place. I'm sure I stuck them up for safekeeping. The question is, where?
Meanwhile, I've gone through every envelope and scrap of paper in this office. The most interesting things I found--and I plan to sit down later and really look at them--are old correspondence from editors, agents, and writing pals. At least this had forced me to get rid of the clutter in the drawers and cabinets.
Hope everyone has a great, clutter-free week. :o)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Now, for a complete change of subject...
I haven't been online much during the past many weeks, but I have been writing. More recently, I've been working on a laptop that isn't online. I disabled the wireless function so I'd have no temptations or distractions. My goal for the year is to finish three projects. Two full-length and one short. Wish me luck. :o)